Source: The Daily Telegraph
IT's the world's sneakiest speed camera, able to spot drivers talking on mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt from 500m away - and it's coming to a street near you.
NSW and Victorian police are considering buying big brother speed cameras with hi-tech laser technology that can detect speeding and mobile phone use from further than ever before.
The cameras, worth almost $20,000 each, are mounted on a roadside tripod and can record video evidence of up to 4000 offences to DVD.
The equipment, known as Concept II, is so powerful, and the resolution so sharp, it is able to capture motorists using mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, running a red light or speeding from a distance of between 20m and 500m.
NSW police last night confirmed they were considering buying the cameras - unveiled this week by UK police.
"The research and development team working at the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command are always developing future technology for use by highway patrol," a police spokesman said.
"As speeding and using a mobile phone while driving are both dangerous, we would certainly look at technology that facilitates driver compliance on the state's roads."
The development comes as The Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday that 30 new highway patrol vehicles are now patrolling Sydney's six busiest freeways to reduce accidents by cracking down on motorists using phones, eating breakfast, or reading the paper while sitting in traffic.
Traffic data shows there have been more than 14,000 accidents on the six major roads in the last three years - a major concern for police.
UK-based designer and manufacturer Tele-Traffic UK described the new cameras as a "customer-configured speed detection and enforcement system" that is set to change the traffic enforcement landscape forever.
The camera can be set to a speed limit and the technology then records and marks the vision from as far away as half a kilometre.
"It allows the operator to set a threshold speed limit below which speed enforcement is not required," the Concept II manual states.
"Having captured the data, it will mark the DVD recorded images both visibly and invisibly in a recoverable format."
The technology boasts "flexibility for evidence gathering" in speed enforcement.
"Once mastered it will provide pictorial evidence of speeding and other offences at ranges between 20m and 500m - dependent upon the lens configuration."
Police will be able to use the pictures and video as evidence.
Police in Dorset this week began using two of the cameras mounted in speed camera vans at ranges of about 400m.
They have already filmed a man playing a harmonica with two hands, instead of driving.